After School Afterlife

After School Afterlife

  • Mini Bunnies
  • 3 weeks ago
  • 3rd

Play our Postjam Version here

We have added a secret bonus level, changed the third level mechanic and general quality of life improvements

⚠ Note: This game relies on its music and rhythm. Please make sure you can hear it. ⚠

When the music starts, the world of the dead and the world of the living collide... Make your way out of a haunted Peranakan mansion in this musical rhythmic platformer. On the beat of the music, the player switches between the world of the living and the world of the dead. Listen to the beat to navigate obstacles and escape the mansion!

4 Levels to complete.

Controls:

  • Arrow keys/WASD to move around

  • Spacebar to interact

  • Mouse button to click "Play" button in menu screen

Tips:

  • Listen carefully to the beat!

  • On the third level, your hitbox is always just your character, not the stack of money.

  • You can talk to old man ghost for additional dialogue after completing your objective (:

Dev notes:

Our last game was Icelandic-themed (our coder is from Iceland) so we decided to make a Peranakan-themed game this time (artist and composer from Singapore). Peranakan culture originates from Southern Chinese people who migrated to the Malayan and Indonesian peninsula a few centuries ago. You'll notice lots of Peranakan-inspired art assets (colourful and detailed) in the game and Chinese-inspired music.

  • The main enemies are jiangshi, hopping vampires from Chinese mythology.
  • The money in the game is joss paper, which is paper money you burn to send to your ancestors in the world of the dead.
  • In the second level, you'll notice rice bowls with chopsticks sticking up in the feast for the dead -- sticking your chopsticks upright indicate that the food is an offering for the dead, which is why you're not meant to do that when you eat normally!
  • The music in the second level is inspired by Chinese festival music, which is full of gongs and drums to scare away ghosts.
  • The boss in the fourth level is Heibai Wuchang, guardians of the underworld that escort the recently deceased.
  • At the end of the game, the ghost calls himself as a "hungry ghost". This refers to the Hungry Ghost Festival in the 7th month of the lunar calendar, where the gates of the underworld open, so people must leave offerings and burn incense for the ghosts.
  • There are four levels because four is the number of death in Chinese.
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  • havik

    Lovely game! Love the music and the cute little animations to the beat.

    Cool idea too - everything fits together really nicely. It really has that strange (but rather cool) mixed feeling of almost being a celebration/party, but also something being... wrong? Off? Not quite right? Festival of death I suppose! Well done on making such an atmosphere!

    Had a little issue in the last level - thinking I missed a trigger for the ending level to actually start (probably moved during dialogue or something?). So the game soft locked and I was stuck in the level with nothing happening! Here's a gif: https://gyazo.com/9a799bd3c7f505e161fc90b2c09d5b0d

    No worries though - not a big deal. Loved the game, hope to see it expanded on! (With even more music and little puzzles!)

    • Heather Heather
      Level 7
      Designer

      Thanks for playing!

      Sorry the bug left you unable to finish the game! We definitely took some time to discuss the atmosphere we wanted so we could coordinate a lot of our art and musical choices. Some of the original ideas was a more horror focused game and we ended up with something quite different. Glad it came across well!

      Keep an eye out for our post jam version tomorrow. It should have an additional secret level (along with a new track) and some bug fixes. We've also revamped the third level if you'd like to try it out. We plan on expanding further as well after the initial post jam version and will be including more levels and characters to meet (:

  • Nyveon

    Awesome theme, great music and art, love the mix of rhythm game and platformer. Good humor too. Overall a great entry! Team Mini Bunnies does it again! :)

    • Heather Heather
      Level 7
      Designer

      Thanks for playing! Glad you enjoy it. We definitely want to expand and experiment more with different levels. :D Excited to see more Tea for Dragonflies future entries!

    • Ivanbje Ivanbje
      Level 9
      Developer

      "Team Mini Bunnies does it again! :)" Thank you :D :D This is a lovely thing to wake up to <3

  • Des
    Des Des Level 1

    I love the mood and the nods to Peranakan culture! The atmosphere that was created from the get go and the UI set the tone for the player that something special was ahead. The artwork and items contained in the levels made me feel like I was in a celebration for the dead and for those in the afterlife. I enjoyed the mechanics of exploring parts of the map where you are making blind jumps. I felt it added to the suspense and to the tone of the game of exploring what could be the unknown in the afterlife.

    The music was excellent and really match the levels. I did run into a situation in the first level where i cleared the second checkpoint and not the first as I missed what I needed to do. So i kept dying and going to the second checkpoint until i realized I had to backtrack. The text bubbles sometimes got lost in the elements of the background but I was still able to understand the message.

    • Ivanbje Ivanbje
      Level 9
      Developer

      Thank you for the feedback, really glad you liked it.

      Yeah, that second checkpoint in the first level doesn't serve any good purpose and should perhaps be removed. We have fixed the text bubbles for our post jam version that we are finishing up which has some more polish and addresses many of the other feedback complaints.

      Thanks for playing, thanks for the feedback and have a good day :D :D

  • Mimpy
    Mimpy Mimpy Level 10

    Well this is just stunning. From the atmosphere, the variety of the gameplay, art and sounds, and even the theme incorporation, every aspect really makes a solid contribution.

    I really like the different goals of each level, and the variety they bring, but funnily my only complaint is sorta variety related. There were a couple consistency issues, like using the mouse pointer for the menu when it isn't used in-game, and the third level not using the beat changing mechanic.

    Really good job, really full-feeling and nicely wrapped up game.

    • Megan Megan
      Level 6
      Composer

      Thanks for the feedback! I'm glad you liked it. We're hopefully revamping the third level for our postjam version to incorporate the beat-changing mechanic -- right now the sisters do throw down the money on the beat, at least.

    • Heather Heather
      Level 7
      Designer

      Thanks for playing!

      Yeah we ran out of time for the third level. The money does fall to the beat though our current post jam version includes the dimension shifting in the gameplay of it where only certain types of money falls depending on which side of the world you're in.

      Not super sure what to do about the mouse in the main screen because we enjoyed the hover over effect of having the title appear. It's fun to hover over and then hover away to see the change. Though for the sake of consistency we can think of redesigning it.

      Thanks again!

  • Steve
    Steve Steve Level 1

    Fun game; it brought me back to my original gameboy days. I liked the changing light/dark(haunted) concept, it added a layer of complexity to it. I liked how accurate the controls were. Even something as simple as using arrow keys can sometimes feel awkward, but I thought this was excuted nicely. I also enjoyed the theme, atmosphere and music. The second level seemed most difficult to me, as making a simple mistake meant having to get all 3 money bills again. To be honest I was hoping for more levels when the game ended! Great job.

    • Ivanbje Ivanbje
      Level 9
      Developer

      Glad to see you liked it. Yeah we wanted the controls to feel nice but also have it a bit floaty to be unforgiving with timing. The second level is definitely the hardest one, but we have some things planned for the post version which will make it easier. We probably should've made picking up money be a checkpoint but we didn't think of it until afterwards.

  • baku
    baku baku Level 45 Patron

    This was great. Every aspect of it seemed so thoughtful, from the art, music, gameplay, theme, etc. I loved it.

  • Tero Hannula

    I did the stream earlier (like 4 days ago), where I did comment game more and I think atleast one of devs watching. But to leave short feedback here too:

    Lovely pixelart, had lot of variety, which is good. Also I liked variety of gameplay and bit of humour. I think cultural aspect was well implemented in art and music.

    Here is vid. https://youtu.be/P-r0wmUQe1g?t=2460

    • Heather Heather
      Level 7
      Designer

      Thanks for the feedback! And thanks for taking the time to stream!

      Love watching video playthroughs. Definitely very helpful to review for post jam versions. Glad you noticed the variety to the pixel art. It's kinda funny but despite having 80+ assets, I still feel the game wasn't as crowded as I wanted it to. But only so much you can do in a weekend!

      Yeah, I think my sister was watching the stream. She did the music.

  • dosto
    dosto dosto Level 5

    Absolutely glorious! As it would have already been a great experience, I loved those more stealthy Peranakan culture references you put out there (and which I would have totally missed without the notes). I think they leveled up the game’s already high immersion state and steered to pay more attention little things visible on the scenes.

    I loved the soundtrack. Hulda’s bg music was also a killer so have to say that your composer is making a really good job.

    Can’t wait for your team’s next jam entries.

    • Megan Megan
      Level 6
      Composer

      What lovely feedback! I'm glad you enjoyed the dev notes and I'm really happy you like the music!

    • Heather Heather
      Level 7
      Designer

      Thanks for the feedback! :D We worked pretty hard to get the whole game having a cohesive mood. And yeah our composer worked really hard over the 48 hours to get so many unique pieces that would match the aesthetic we wanted for each level.

      Glad you enjoyed it! Would love to add a little more tracks and levels after the jam.

  • Fachewachewa

    I love how welcoming the game is despite its "darker" themes. The art and music definitely help in that regard. There's a lot of effort put into details and it's almost a shame the game is so short because you barely have the time to notice it.

    As I've said I love the inspiration of the game, you really cared about sharing and it shows. Plus the mechanic reminds me of my farourite level in Fez so that's nice :D

    My only issues with the game are pretty minor. First there's the text that doesn't scale that well and is pretty hard to read. Some spites also hide part of the text in one or two places.
    Second issue is the lack of informations on platforms. Not to indicate where they are in the other world, but to know once you're on a platform if it'll disappear or not. I think it's in level 2, at the bottom there are like 3 platforms, the first one doesn't disappear, and the other two are from each world, but the 3 platforms look the same. It's only a problem the first time you get here, but since there's no checkpoint for each paper it can be a little punishing :D

    Anyways, that's of lot of text for something not that important. I really liked the game. Also I don't really know why but I always loved the concept of a jiangshi, so that was an instant +1 on the icon.

    • Megan Megan
      Level 6
      Composer

      I'm really glad you liked it! Our artist made so many unique assets for the game that really brought it to life. That's a really interesting level in Fez, it is quite similar to our concept.

      Totally agree about those issues; we're definitely revamping the 2nd level in our post-jam build. I think right now most (but not all) of the platforms that remain in both worlds have objects on them like tables and vases.

      Thanks for the great feedback!

    • Heather Heather
      Level 7
      Designer

      Oo I haven't seen that level in Fez before. It looks really really cool!

      Thanks for the feedback and taking the time to play. Glad you enjoyed it! I guess we both ended up doing vampire themed games :D Yeah we hope to find a better way to display the text.

      Thanks again!

  • Allison James
    Allison James Allison James Level 13

    This game does a stunning job of setting its scene - so much detail in all the unique set decoration, great and fitting music, and genuinely eerie at times.

    Great use of the theme too, a few games I've played have done the "two different versions of world" thing but in this game it made total sense and was used in dynamic and clever ways.

    All-around brilliant entry, one of my favourites so far.

    • Heather Heather
      Level 7
      Designer

      Thanks for playing our game and the feedback!

      We spent a lot of time coordinating the mood we wanted for the game. Our team is split between three time zones so there was a lot of making sure we were all on the same page for it as some were working when others were asleep who would then have to pick up the work when they woke up. Art ended up with 80+ assets so happy you liked it!

      We figured other games would go with a two different worlds theme so wanted to distinguish our game a little with the inability to control when the switch happens so players would listen to the music to coordinate their moves. Like a platformer that has rhythmic qualities to it.

      Thanks again for playing!

  • Naxos
    Naxos Naxos Level 7

    Very polished and fun entry! It's got something to like in every category. Great music, art, sound, gameplay!

    The only minor issue that I had was when I died several times on the 2nd (?) level, it seemed like the switching phase got out of sync with the beat of the music a bit. Other than that, really stable!

    Cool game!

    PS. I uploaded a video of my playthrough

    • Heather Heather
      Level 7
      Designer

      Thanks for the feedback! And taking the time to play (:

      Thanks for the heads up! Will include that in the post jam update. It was also really helpful watching your playthrough for when we edit levels to make it a little friendlier in some portions. Thanks for the video! Glad to see you play a little with the start screen. It was a happy accident and we decided we liked the effect but were wondering if people would just click the play button too fast.

      Thanks again!

    • Ivanbje Ivanbje
      Level 9
      Developer

      Woah, thanks for playing & thanks for the video. Was fun to watch, I loved to see that you went back and talked to the ghost after completing the tasks, a lot of people miss that.

  • Alex Fantastico

    Flawless entry, great work! Loved the style, art, music, and theme, 10/10

    • Heather Heather
      Level 7
      Designer

      Thanks for the kind review!

      We spent a lot of time to get the vibe we were going for right.

  • SpritePainter

    This was a very charming game. The only thing I would have liked was some kind of indication of what to expect in the other world. Maybe it's better this way, but I found myself having to stop a lot of times just to see what's in the next part of the map. It's only really a problem in areas where you need to make blind jumps to land on a platform in the other world.

    • Heather Heather
      Level 7
      Designer

      Thanks for taking the time to play and leave feedback!

      It was a conscious decision to completely hide what was going on in the other world. Idea being is you watch and listen and then perform the jump to the time. Kinda a leap of faith.

      There was some discussion about placing some assets around where the disappearing platforms are to help people better judge distances though! Might have been something we might have experimented more with but we were coding up until very close to the deadline so didn't have a lot of time for playtests.

      Thanks again for playing!

  • jack
    jack jack Level 16 Patron

    Pretty fun and charming! The visuals and writing are both nice, and I'm a big fan of the music in this entry.

    • Heather Heather
      Level 7
      Designer

      Thanks for the feedback!

      We spent a looot of timing conceptualising the levels music. Their themes and what music would go with them. Sometimes we thought of what the music theme would be first and built the level around that. As musical cues are the key to timing platform jumps, we definitely wanted the mood of the level to match with the music.

      Visuals took up so much of the time too. We ended up with 80+ assets!

    • Megan Megan
      Level 6
      Composer

      I'm glad you like the music!

  • Brian
    Brian Brian Level 1

    An immersive and vibrant game that grabs your attention right away.

    The storyline is briefly and delicately described to give the audience cultural knowledge so that the game is understandable and gives a bit of a history lesson.

    I really like how vibrant the colors were because it made it pleasant to look at / play the game. The music fit perfectly with the storyline as well, which helped to make me feel immersed in the game.

    My only gripe is the controls, which is just a personal preference and doesn't affect the game much. I would have preferred for 'spacebar' to be jump instead of the up arrow. The interact key could've been set to 'E' as well, but that's only because I'm so used to it being this way by default in many other games.

    I would like to see more levels in the future and perhaps add in the ability to edit the controls or have them changed to different keys. Aside from that, I give this game a 9/10 and look forward to seeing how the game progresses.

    Keep up the hardwork :)

    • Heather Heather
      Level 7
      Designer

      Thanks for the feedback! I think we will add more variety to the controls post jam. Also gamepad support.

      Excited to have some Peranakan themed games out there (:

  • Matt L
    Matt L Matt L Level 3

    A really charming game, absolutely dripping with personality.

    This game succeeds with it's really great storytelling, style, and humor.

    With that said, the platforming controls felt a tad floaty which led me to losing some progress, especially in the second level.

    But all in all, a really great entry. I'd love to see more levels.

    Also a huge shoutout to whoever wrote the music. I am not sure if it was just obtained somewhere or if it was made inhouse, but wow, it's awesome.

    • Heather Heather
      Level 7
      Designer

      Thanks for taking time to play and review/

      Everything is made in house. The music was made very specifically for each levels themes and we all worked closely to make sure the beat of each piece felt good to play along to. So lots of collaboration which was tricky as our team is split in three timezones.

      We also made the sound effects in house. Made our composer go burn paper at three in the morning to get burning sounds only to find a little bit of burned paper does not make any burning crackling sounds. So got some foley experience in there too!

      We probably have a little quality of life changes planned post jam. Checkpoints at the second level and some slight adjustments to make it a little easier.

      Thanks again!

    • Megan Megan
      Level 6
      Composer

      I'm glad you liked the music! Everything was made by us in the 48 hours.

  • Luke No Further

    Great stuff - I really like the art style and all the lovely art assets throughout - it looks like this game was fun to make and it shows - lots of lovely ideas and variety.

    There seems to be a lot of this 'two dimensions' concept with this jam's theme, but by incorporating the mystical Perankan culture, this game feels like it goes further than just a simplistic heaven/hell good/bad light/dark division.

    I really like your team's idea of developing jam games based on your team members' cultures. I think approaching jams with additional creative constraints that are personal to you and that you are excited about and have your own insight into is a great way of creating something really vibrant and satisfying.

    Well done peeps! Really nice work.

    • Heather Heather
      Level 7
      Designer

      Thanks for the feedback and taking the time to play!

      So happy you enjoy the art style. Peranakan art is very detailed and colourful. So the assets took a long time to make. We ended up with over 80+ assets! We just really wanted to capture what it would be like to be inside a Peranakan house with its gorgeous intricate furniture and bright colours.

      Our take on the two dimension concept was to take the control out of the players hands. Instead of controlling dimension switches, it goes to the music. It captures the vibe a little bit of a rhythm game as one has to listen to the music to judge a dimension shift. A rhythmic platformer basically!

  • faxdoc
    faxdoc faxdoc Level 3

    Really charming game. Great atmosphere and characters. Definitely my favorite Game thus far.

    • Heather Heather
      Level 7
      Designer

      Thanks so much for the kind words! Glad you enjoyed it (:

      • faxdoc faxdoc
        Level 3

        you're welcome. No joke though I'd pay for a longer/more polished version of this game.

        • Heather Heather
          Level 7
          Designer

          Wow thanks! We thought the game might make for a pretty neat mini metroidvania. Our team is currently working on a post jam version of our last gm48 entry so not sure if we are able to do much more for afterlife though I'd actually really like to. We will however do some small changes to Afterlife post jam and upload on itch. Extra dialogue, Gameplay tweaks we didn't have time to add...

  • blixx
    blixx blixx Level 1

    Fun game, for keyboard users using W might be a bit harder to jump then say spacebar or something, leaving my finger on W made it a bit hard for me to control L/R during the jump and and how long i held it down for. The game allows you to move the person really well in the air.

    I do not think the game was too hard, I like how you have to work for some of the things and wait for timings instead of face smashing and holding run through an entire level.

    I like the music, I think it would be good to incorporate 3/4 or 6/8 time signatures also in addition to what seems to be the 4/4 base of the few levels.

    In a platformer I really like the function of where you can hold UP or DOWN and it pans the camera up and down, I think this would help in the 2nd level where I didn't see one of the monies until I accidently died.

    • Megan Megan
      Level 6
      Composer

      Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it! I did use a 3/4 time signature in the waltz of the first level, though of course that's the level you spend the least time in.

      Good idea - a "DOWN" function would definitely be useful in the second level.

  • Zen00
    Zen00 Zen00 Level 8

    Fun and atmospheric. The biggest problem would be it might have been more fun if you had more control over when the world swapped.

    • Ivanbje Ivanbje
      Level 9
      Developer

      Thanks.

      The reason why we don't allow the player to switch back and forth, is that we wanted to tie it to the music. Introduce a rhythm element to it.

      So a lot of the things happen to the beat, like the sisters throwing the money, spawning of fireballs and the guys jumping up and down the stairs. While you spend one bar on either side of the veil.

      That's also why the timing is a bit different in the levels, because the music tracks have different bpm and time signatures.

    • Heather Heather
      Level 7
      Designer

      Thanks for playing!

      We wanted our game to be a rhythm game so the world changes to the beat of the song. Idea being, you have to listen to the beat to time your moves to the music rather than having control yourself. Everything moves to the beat except the player.

  • Lee
    Lee Lee Level 5

    Awesome game! I really love how atmospheric the game is and how it incorporates the theme of 'two sides'. Each chapter having a different gameplay style, all woven with the beautiful music is really incredible. The music really assists you in managing the shift between the two worlds which I found to be very helpful. The mansion is filled with beautiful background pieces that make the world feel full and alive. I couldn't help but stop and stare at the Jiangshi because they are so adorable hopping around even if I was meant to be avoiding them. I felt the dialog was very well done and made me laugh in a couple places. I thought the gameplay was challenging but fun, and I was able to grasp the objectives quickly. All in all, I think this is a very strong entry and I would love to see further development post-jam as this is a theme and locale I would like to see explored more.

    • Heather Heather
      Level 7
      Designer

      Thanks so much! We took a lot of time to get the atmosphere right. We wanted each level to not just be a "level up" in difficulty and mechanics. More like the exploration of a different musical and aesthetic theme. From the ghost banquet in the second level to the jazzy third level.

  • Chris

    Music and visual style was fantastic. I thought it was great and it make me crave donuts!

    • Ivanbje Ivanbje
      Level 9
      Developer

      Haha, thank you and I think we all deserve one(or two) after these 48 hours ;)

  • ZedSquadron

    The music, art, and atmosphere were top notch here! Gameplay was a little unforgiving, but I was really invested in seeing how the story was going to play out, so I didn't mind too much. Great job!

    • Heather Heather
      Level 7
      Designer

      Thanks for the feedback! Glad you enjoyed the story. (: Difficulty is hard to balance for a game jam for sure. We've had feedback it is too hard and too easy lol. Difficult to find a balance. I can see how an assist mode like Celeste or a difficulty setting could make it more accessible.